Now that Tom Brady has won his fourth Super Bowl, the superlatives are going to come fast and furious. In fact, for many, he’s officially entered the Greatest Of All Time discussion with Joe Montana.
“The accomplishments are extraordinary, especially in the salary-cap era,” NFL Talk of Fame Network analyst Clark Judge said on Tiki and Tierney. “It’s tough for me to choose one over the other, but when you look at what Brady’s done, he’s done more with less than I think almost anyone other than John Elway in the salary-cap era and also in the Super Bowl era. Joe had a lot of talent around him. I’m not trying to diminish Joe’s accomplishments; 4-for-4 speaks for itself. He had no interceptions in those four games. It’s really a tough choice – really a photo finish. But Brady’s career, it speaks for itself.”
While Brady’s legacy was cemented by one play – or better yet, one call – so was Pete Carroll’s.
“It’s something that will always be mentioned,” Judge said of Seattle’s decision to throw the ball on second-and-goal from the 1 with less than a minute to go. “It’s a bad call. It’s a horrendous call, honestly. I’ve been covering this sport for close to 35 years. I don’t recall a call that disastrous. Maybe the mistake in the Meadowlands (in 1978) when you think of Joe Pisarcik. That was horrendous, too. But what in the world are you thinking? You got Marshawn Lynch. You got three feet to go. You got three downs, two timeouts. What are you thinking? I think it’s always going to be part of his legacy. It’s always going to be something he’ll be asked about. And honestly, when he passes on, it’ll probably be in the second or third graph.”
Yes, Carroll may have outsmarted himself with that decision – and it likely cost him a ring.
“Somebody should have short-circuited it,” Judge said, “whether it was Pete saying, ‘Hey, listen, let’s not go for it,’ or the quarterback, Russell Wilson, saying, ‘Let’s check out of this. I don’t know why we’re doing this.’ This makes no sense. Honestly, 12 hours later, I’m still befuddled.”
In other news, the NFL announced its 2015 Hall of Fame class this past Saturday, with Junior Seau, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Charles Haley and Will Shields headlining the ballot. Bill Polian, Ron Wolf and Mick Tingelhoff will also be inducted.
The biggest snubs were likely Orlando Pace and Marvin Harrison.
“The Marvin Harrison thing I can explain,” said Judge, a voter. “He’s going to get in. You just don’t get in automatically. And people think if you don’t get in (right away), oh, it’s this travesty and you’re never going to get in. You’re going to get in if you wait. Tim Brown waited six years. Charles Haley waited 11. With Tim Brown, you just simply look at that record and it speaks for itself: 10 straight years of 75 or more catches when they weren’t inflated numbers. His numbers career-wise are comparable to Marvin Harrison – (only) he didn’t have Peyton Manning.”
Brown was also an All-AFC kick and punt returner. Harrison had a great career, of course, but he also had just two touchdowns in 16 career playoff games.
Yes, the voters get that specific in their discussions.
Seau, meanwhile, was basically a no-brainer.
“Yeah, he was,” Judge said. “Was he the most qualified guy? No. I think Will Shields was. But if he’s going in sooner or later, let’s get him in now. I do think sympathy probably played a part. He didn’t need sympathy, though. He was going to get in on his own.”